The merger of fashion with technology has come a long way since I started writing about it. Although fashion and technology have long intersected, there was a time when there were very few books on the subject readily available. Back then it was a space driven by a few pioneers, which meant that most of us got our dose of fashion tech from the same books like Fashioning Technology by Syuzi Pakhchyan, Textile Futures: Fashion, Design and Technology by Bradley Quinn and, of course, Sabine Seymour‘s Fashionable Technology: The Intersection of Design, Fashion, Science, and Technology.
Nowadays, I am happy to say that recent developments in fashion technology have led to a rise in books being published. It is no longer considered just a ‘phase’ that fashion is going through, but a reality that promises to tackle fashion’s problems while future-proofing the industry so it can better serve today’s 21st-century customer. Published in the last three years, we recommend the following five books to read cover to cover.
(1) Fashion and Technology: A Guide to Materials and Applications || By Aneta Genova and Katherine Moriwaki
Published in 2016, Fashion and Technology: A Guide to Materials and Applications looks at how technology impacts the practice of fashion design. Focusing on the adoption of new methods, tools, and approaches, the book explores how new materials, manufacturing processes and advancements in technology are driving forward an understanding of the aesthetics, style, and functionality of garments and accessories.
Fashion and Technology: A Guide to Materials and Applications is the perfect guide for those interested in designing with electronics. It will introduce you, such as LEDs, sensors, electroluminescent materials, conductive and reactive materials – and digital fabrication technologies such as 3D printing and laser cutting.
(2) Artificial Intelligence for Fashion: How AI is Revolutionizing the Fashion Industry || By Leanne Luce
If you are interested in knowing how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being applied in fashion businesses, then Artificial Intelligence for Fashion: How AI is Revolutionizing the Fashion Industry could be right up your street. Published last year, in 2018, Leanne Luce, founder of Omura, a crypto-first lifestyle brand that caters to the nomadic lifestyle of early cryptocurrency pioneers, has written a book that takes an application-focused approach that provides readers with real-world examples. She also makes sure that non-technical readers understand the jargon by breaking it down so fashion professionals can understand what she is writing about.
Discovering the inner workings of artificial intelligence, the book gives readers a basic understanding of how AI and how it can be used in fashion. Luce investigates the various ways in which AI is capable of impacting the fashion industry and how it is being applied. She looks at concepts, such as connected retail, data mining, and artificially intelligent robotics. Each chapter contains an example of how AI is being applied in the fashion industry illustrated by one major technological theme. There are no equations, algorithms, or code. The technical explanations are cumulative, so you’ll discover more information about the inner workings of artificial intelligence in practical stages as the book progresses.
(3) Practical Fashion Tech: Wearable Technologies for Costuming, Cosplay, and Everyday || By Joan Horvath, Lyn Hoge, and Rich Cameron
Practical Fashion Tech: Wearable Technologies for Costuming, Cosplay, and is a collaboration between two technologists and a veteran teacher, costumer, and choreographer. Working together, they offer a collective wealth of experience for those interested in getting practical with wearable tech.
Perfect for electronics enthusiasts, costume designers and fashion students, some of the fundamentals that you will takeaway include learning how to make a garment react to your environment. So if you want to incorporate sensors and more into garments then look no further than Practical Fashion Tech: Wearable Technologies for Costuming, Cosplay, and Everyday.
(4) Unfolding Fashion Tech: Pioneers of Bright Futures || By Marina Toeters
Marina Toeters has a reputation as one of the talents successfully bridging the gap between fashion and technology. As the driving force behind the possibilities within fashion tech, she has become the other half to designers, brands and researchers looking to collaborate.
A woman who wears many hats, Marina latest project is a book that has been a fifteen-year journey through the field of fashion and technology. Published in August 2019, Unfolding Fashion Tech: Pioneers of Bright Futures, the lecturer of Eindhoven University of Technology, explores pioneering projects’ from between 2000 and 2020 in the field of fashion innovation.
Opening the reader to the field of wearable technologies, the book examines technological advances in new materials, design processes, artificial intelligence, and 3D printing. “Personal benchmarks are presented alongside pioneering projects of leading fashion technology designers and show innovative concepts coming to fruition,” says her foreword.
(5) Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes || Dana Thomas
Published in September 2019, Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes investigates subjects like the tech revolution and how launching cutting-edge sustainable technologies could help the fashion future proof the industry.
Believing that we need for an entirely new human-scale model, author Dana Thomas, shares visionary designers and companies who are propelling the industry towards a more positive future. By highlighting the companies leading the crusade, Dana explores 3D printing, clean denim processing, smart manufacturing, hyper localism, fabric recycling and lab-grown materials.